Family, friends and schoolmates are mourning the loss of a 17-year-old girl, while her father and friend continue to fight for their lives in hospital.
The Crescent Heights Cowboys paid tribute to their fellow student by linking arms with opposing players from the Churchill-Bowness team in a moment of silence prior to the game kickoff Wednesday night.
Students and parents who were in the stands watching the game say they are still dealing with the loss of the 17-year-old girl.
“I suspected the team was going to step up like this to show their support for the families, still pretty tough on all the students. It is very tough for them especially at such a young age to have to go through this and lose one of their own,” said Shannon Bryant, whose son plays for the Cowboys.
Police suggest speed and alcohol were factors in the deadly crash that happened on McKnight Boulevard approaching 68 Street N.E. Tuesday at around 4:45 p.m.
All three victims were thrown from the vehicle.
Meghan Bomford, a Grade 12 student at Crescent Heights High School, had been sitting in the front passenger seat. She was taken to hospital but died of her injuries.
Kelsey Nelson, a friend of Bomford’s, is also a student at Crescent Heights. She was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition, where she remains.
Bomford’s father, Shaun Bomford, believed to be the driver, also remains in critical condition.
Meghan’s mother, Lisa Bomford, issued the following statement to Global News Wednesday:
“Our beloved Meghan was tragically taken from our lives at too young of an age. With so much ahead of her, we are all grieving that we will no longer get to share graduation, birthdays, weddings and other things she was looking forward to. She was such a feisty, gorgeous and loving girl who has a love for all things ringette. Kelsey and her were on their way to get their police checks to become junior ringette coaches and now one has been taken and the other sweet girl, Kelsey, is fighting for her life.”
“Please remember my daughter for the amazing person she was, which you can see all around, rather than focusing on the tragic circumstances of this accident.”
A friend of the family has set up a GoFundMe page to help Meghan’s mother with funeral arrangements and other costs.
In a letter home to parents of students at Crescent Heights Wednesday, principal Jackie Chapman-Brown said: “In consultation with the Calgary Board of Education Critical Incident Response Team, this sad information was shared with all students in our school community at 9:05 a.m. Students were provided guidance and given an opportunity to discuss the loss and share their thoughts, feelings and reactions.”
Chapman-Brown also said the school has organized a tribute to Meghan’s memory within the school and would be offering an opportunity for students to send best wishes to Nelson in the coming days.
-With files from Jill Croteau